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Happy Hour : Mixing Metals

Every been in a restaurant when it turns "Happy Hour?" You notice the mood instantly changes as everyone is ready for fun. Whenever I'm having a Bad Hair Day, my cure is always a personal Happy Hour. Of course, I'm hopeless addicted to interiors; so for me, this hour is all about decorating. In this series, we'll look at some quick and happy mood changers for our very own Happy Hour. Each should take about an hour - a mere 60 minutes - to perk up our minds and our rooms. Let's get the party started.

Years ago, I copied Tom and Kim's gorgeous indoor hardware idea by going all black. A big upgrade from the 1990's polished brass. It took a handyman a day and it dramatically changed my rooms. I still love my black hardware but right now, I've got a serious crush on brass. You've probably noticed that various types of brass have made a big comeback in recent years - polished, brushed, satin, aged, unlacquered. Last week, I figured out how to get more brass in my rooms.

When Sue toured my refurbished rooms, we were looking at the primary bedroom chest I recently panted black. The original handles are brass - full of patina.

I realized that 3 of the bedroom chests had satin brass handles, including this mahogany one.

Even though all the chests are different - two are black, one mahogany and one white - I thought maybe a way to unify them all is to have all the hardware the same metal. Time to find brass handles for the white IKEA chest.

My inspiration was this simplyclosets ad.

It turns out real brass handles are super expensive, ranging from $19 to $479 EACH. No kidding. I found these on Amazon. OK, they aren't really brass - they're stainless steel handles finished in satin brass, 12 for $23.99. Works for me.

For this quick Happy Hour, I got out my beloved little Ryobi drill P gave me years ago. The latex remover took off the black marks the old handles left. First handle changed. Easy Peasy.

Uh oh. One handle became my nemesis as the screw thread was stripped. Most You Tube suggestions didn't work (drill through a rubber band placed on the screwhead, etc) but YouTubes using an extractor bit seemed plausible. I found the correct bit in P's tools and went to work. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it happen.

See the black handle? I woke up the next day staring at it - DOH! Just unscrew from the front by turning the handle while holding the screw with a pair of pliers. Hello!

Here's the finished project. While all the chests are different, all the handles color match and I love that detail. Hope you'll consider updating something with hardware. In the meantime, enjoy your Sunday! I'm off to see the new Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibit at San Francisco's de Young Museum with my friend Jeanette. Can't wait to see real gold!

de Young Museum

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